Jeremy Lin‘s timing has been pretty good of late. After a disastrous year with the Lakers — not just for Lin, who played well in LA, but for everybody involved — Lin found his way to Michael Jordan‘s Charlotte Hornets where he and the team both exceeded expectations. Lin could end up back there — they’ve build a winning core, saw playoff action last year and coach Steve Clifford liked Lin. But he won’t get a chance to start in Charlotte — not at point guard anyway. Kemba Walker will have the ball in his hands for the Hornets for the foreseeable future. So Lin opted out of his deal to explore free agency. And here’s where, as an aspiring starting point guard, Lin’s timing looks good again.
Lin, despite being mainly a reserve in Charlotte, is being ranked by many as the third best point guard available this year in free agency — after Mike Conley and Rajon Rondo. (Some who measure attitude and positive locker room influence even put him ahead of Rondo.) Next year the point guard free agency market looks a lot different — and Lin, despite how well he’s played, wouldn’t crack the elite conversation. Who’ll be available? Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Jeff Teague, George Hill and a guy named Stephen Curry.